WCO supports Protection of Mineral Resources in Africa

24 May 2017

Under the sponsorship of the Customs Cooperation Fund of Japan, a WCO Workshop on the Protection of national Mineral Resources was held in Lusaka (Zambia), from 17 to 19 May 2017, and it was attended by officers from both Customs Administrations and Mining Control Institutions from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The project is a part of the WCO activities on protection of mineral resources specified in Phase III of the Revenue Package Action Plan.

The opening of this activity was officiated by Mrs. Brigitte Muyenga, Commissioner of Finance, on behalf of the Commissioner General of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Mr. Kingsley Chanda.  In her opening remarks, Mrs. Muyenga thanked the WCO's Secretariat and CCF Japan for the initiative and reminded participants that the mining sector continued to play a key role in the economic and social welfare in Zambia.  She also highlighted the importance of implementing and reviewing mechanisms for monitoring the mining and mineral value chain from exploration to exportation.

During the Workshop, the participants explained the current situation regarding the protection of their national mineral resources and described the cooperation between the Customs Administrations and the other National Institutions (e.g., Ministry of mines) involved in the matter in their respective countries.  The problems arising from the trade in "conflict minerals" and the effect of the illegal mining in the society and the environment was also discussed in detail by participants.

At the end of the Workshop, participants concluded that optimal monitoring and control mechanisms of the natural resources should be developed, including the identification of gaps in the legislative frameworks, exploring how current controls could be further strengthened and improving cooperation and networking between Customs Administrations and Mining Institutions.